How can you write better copy? Business professionals from every industry struggle with their writing, so you’re far from the only one asking. Even marketers struggle to write focused, compelling copy from time to time. So what is it about putting ideas to paper that trips so many people up? Let’s dig into 4 tips for writing better content.
Start With a Plan
If you don’t have a plan, your writing will lack focus. Without knowing what the end goal is, it’s difficult to determine what steps need to take to reach that destination. When you sit down to write, start by outlining your main points and then filling in the supporting details.
This strategy benefits user experience in the end, especially for pages on a website. When a writer starts with a main idea and breaks it down into smaller digestible parts, the writing will also be easier to read. Great online content starts with a title (main idea) and breaks that down into smaller digestible parts (subheadings). This way, when someone goes to read that page, they can quickly navigate to the section of the page they’re looking for.
2. Focus on the Reader’s Perspective
This tip may seem obvious, but when it comes to putting our ideas down for someone else to read, we all too often write from our point of view instead of theirs. Practicing empathy in your writing and trying to put yourself in the reader’s shoes can go a long way. Here’s a mental exercise that may help. Think about your ideal reader, consumer, or audience member and not just your target audience. If you could only get the result you want if they experience the fullest extent of your product or service, what would you tell them?
Considering your audience’s pain points will not only make you a better writer by making your content more relatable, but it will also show that you can solve their problems and alleviate their concerns. And that’s what great marketing boils down to in the end.
3. Be Direct and Be Clear
Have you ever thought, “I’m not sure how to phrase this”? If you’re like most, this thought has surely crossed your mind at least once or twice. The tried and true solution to this dilemma is:
Challenge yourself with another question, “What is it that you’re trying to say?”
Say it out loud, detach yourself from the writing process for a moment and verbally summarize to yourself what the message is.
Next, write that down. It sounds simple enough, but we can get so sucked into typing out the next sentence that we give ourselves “analysis paralysis” and freeze up. Explain it to yourself or someone else, and then write that.
A common trap many writers fall into is that they try to sound “smart” by using uncommon words and phrases or some roundabout way of conveying their message. No one likes to feel confused when they’re reading; if anything, confusion will encourage them to put it down or read something else. The best writers can take complex topics and make it so anyone can understand them.
This strategy doubles as a filter for industry jargon, cliches, and passive voice, which hurt your writing and usually waste the reader’s time.
The quickest way to lose credibility with your audience is to make careless errors that make it to the final draft. The great Stephen King said, “To write is human, to edit is divine.” It can be easy to cut corners and skip the proofreading/editorial process, but the writing will always suffer for it. If you’re coming up on a deadline and are pressed for time, save time at the end for proofreading and editing.
- Read your text and reread it
- Read your writing out loud or ask someone else to read it over
- Check for typos, grammatical errors, and inconsistencies (if you’re not sure about a grammatical rule or how to spell something, look it up)
Professional Content Marketing With The AD Leaf Marketing Firm
Writing important, compelling, conversion-focused content is a time investment. Research, planning, writing, and proofreading not only takes practice and years of experience to do well, but it also takes time away from you running your business and spending time with your family. Save yourself the hassle of having to do yet another thing and call 321-255-0900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask about our Content Marketing services.